Should I be outraged by "Russian hacking"?

Here’s my understanding of the situation:

  1. A foreign actor (possibly backed by a state power like Russia) hacks the DNC email server.
  2. Separately, John Podesta gets phished and the contents of his email account are accessed.
  3. The contents are turned over a third party (WikiLeaks) outside the United States, who begins releasing the contents. Said contents are somewhat embarrassing but there’s no amazingly damning contents.
  4. Clinton loses, but there is no evidence that actual voting machines were tampered with or tallies changed by any actor foreign or domestic. There are arguments to be made about voter suppression in the form of caging, voter ID laws, and so on, but no one claims that the tally is inherently fraudulent.
  5. The conclusion on various liberal sites and in the parts of the media is now “Oh my God, the Russians have hacked the election! Trump is illegitimate!” Or even, “We’ve been attacked by Russia!”

I just don’t see how those conclusions given in point 5 follow. Hacking of a private entity, while not in America’s interest, is not the same as hacking a government server. Dirty laundry was aired, which may have changed the mind of part of the electorate, but that’s not the same as hacking a voting machine. Everything I’ve seen tells me that Clinton was a bad candidate with a lot of baggage (some unfair, some self-inflicted) running a bad campaign in a year where enough Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents either stayed home or voted differently in key states while the Republicans turned out about the way they always do.

So, tell me how I’m wrong.

The President elect asked a hostile foreign power to commit espionage on his behalf.

They did. He’s planning on changing policy to benefit them.

If you’re cool with that, then I guess you shouldn’t be outraged.

I just have to ask: given Trump’s strange denials and obfuscation every time when asked about Russian hacking, does anyone believe he didn’t know about it personally?

If you can rise above partisanship in any small way, it is rather outrageous that any American would be indifferent to another country fucking with us/our election at all.

I am.


This isn’t a question raised by partisanship. I’m quite left. And the US has spent plenty of time fucking with other nations and their elections (or invading them and overthrowing their governments, or just using the CIA to overthrow their governments, or attempting to overthrow their governments and failing miserably). I just don’t see how “release of embarrassing emails” becomes “Russia hacked our election”.

Is this even a topic of conversation if Clinton had won the electoral college?

Yes. It would just be coming from the other side. And probably a whole lot sooner.

So, the Republicans would be complaining that the Russians hacked the DNC email sever and released emails, and despite that Clinton still won. I think that then the complaints would be about “domestic election fraud” and not “Russian hacking”.

But the liberal outrage isn’t being directed at Trump.
People are screaming about the Russians… And they’re doing it with overboard fearmonging. Almost as bad as the early 1950’s, when the Russians had beaten us in the space race with Sputnik, and our entire way of life was supposedly in danger.
“Help!!!” they scream–our democratic elections have been ruined!!! Run for the hills!!!

Today’s New York Times has a front page article entitled:

Yes, there was cyber espionage…But ,duh, governments do this to each other every day.

What I don’t understand is the why they sub-title the article “disrupt” the presidential race.
That’s just bad journalism…Fox News-level bad.

There was ZERO disruption.
There was some information leaked…but, duh, wikileaks does this every day. Helll, the NY Times itself does this every day–that’s the job of good reporters. ( Remember Woodward and Bernstein?*)

I’m not outraged by the Russian hackery—I’m outraged by the fact that the Democratic party thinks it is a private club that has the right to keep secrets from the public.

And I’m also worried by the stupidity of the Democratic party. These are the would-be leaders of our country --I want to believe that they are intelligent. It’s bad enough that they have so much stuff they want to hide from us, the public. But if you want to keep stuff confidential–don’t leave a paper trail that’s easy to follow. And don’t use unsecured computers.

*yieah, I know…they didn’t work for the NYT–it was a rival newspaper . But that’s irrelevant.

Release of embarrassing hacked e-mails. During an election. Directed by Russia. Possibly.

Your first statement has not been proven. The FBI disputes that the Russians were the hackers, and Wikileaks has flat out stated that it was a DNC insider who provided the emails. The only “evidence” that the Russians are involved is an anonymous source quoting an unproven investigation to media that have been massively biased. Sorry, but that doesn’t fly.

Well, I did say “a foreign actor (possibly backed by a state power like Russia)”. Sure, it’s possible that the foreign actor part of it is also wrong, but I thought I hedged the Russia part adequately.

Maybe I haven’t read enough about this, but isn’t the C.I.A. claiming Russian involvement?

You’re factually incorrect about the bolded part. The FBI agrees that Russians were seeking to steal information and use it to influence the election – or maybe the more accurate term is “sow chaos” in the election.

According to news reports, the FBI does not appear convinced that Russia was doing so in order to get Trump elected, which is the opinion of other agencies.

It’s mainly the Trump associated parties, who make up their own facts, that are saying that the FBI doesn’t think Russia is behind the cyber attacks.

As for a cite to clear this up: Link.

Again, the FBI agrees that Russia is behind the hacking, but they are not sure on the motive for it.

Or, more factually, the candidate (not President Elect), after the DNC emails were released and the “the Russians did it” howls of protest started, and long after Podesta was phished, in a speech, jokingly suggested that maybe the Russians could find the 33,000 emails that Hillary deleted.

And no one did.

Did you even read the article? The information is sourced and even-handed, and gives several examples of how the releases were disruptive to the campaign. Remember the part where the chairwoman of the DNC had to resign on the eve of the convention, for example? Also, do you not grok the distinction between investigative reporting and information dumps (possibly manipulated or falsified) released by an antagonistic nation state?

And, of course, the CIA, which has stated with a high degree of confidence that Russia was behind the DNC/DCCC hacks and the release of the sensitive information as well as the timing of the releases to create maximum impact to the campaign.

Also, the FBI was the entity that first ALERTED the DNC that they were possibly the target of Russian hackers. It’s disingenuous to say that they dispute it now.

What bothers me is not that the election may have been affected. This seems more like a warning shot fired by whoever did it, likely Russia, and should be a wake-up call that our cyber security needs our full attention. A full-out cyber attack could cripple our infrastructure and economy.

Phishing a stupid politician’s email account is a far cry from a “cyber attack” you envision.

Not that cyber security doesn’t need attention, of course. It does.

Russia’s behavior is super bad but I can’t be all that outraged over Russia being Russia because I only have so much outrage to go around. Trump’s reaction is what makes my skin crawl. I’d hope that even a partisan would offer a canned ‘well these allegations are very disconcerting and every effort should be made to protect the integrity of our democracy but basically let’s all move on’ response.

Yeah, they committed espionage in a different way that was requested. Totes ok.